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Michigan Ski Packages

by Jim Neff

The Ultimate Michigan Ski Guide

by Jim Neff

Michigan ranks among the nation's leaders for the number of ski areas. Here's a look at what the state's ski resorts have to offer.



UPPER PENINSULA

Big Powderhorn - Bessemer

Big Powderhorn is a favorite in the Upper Midwest, and there's infinite variety in the runs. The vertical is a solid 622 feet, one of the highest in the Midwest. Lodging at the area features an array of chalets and condos, and a family friendly ski village means there's plenty to see and do. Big Powderhorn is part of Big Snow Country, offering special programs and prices with Blackjack, MI and Whitecap, WI.

Vertical Drop: 622'
Lifts: 10 (9 chairs, 1 surface)
Terrain: 35% novice, 35% intermediate, 30% expert.
Trails: 25
Cross Country: 7km
Snowboards: 2 terrain parks
Information: (906) 932-4838, 1-800-501-SNOW.
Website: http://www.bigpowderhorn.net

Blackjack - Bessemer

Blackjack Ski Resort is located in the beautiful Black River Valley in the Lake Superior snowbelt of Michigan's western Upper Peninsula. The area is one of the most snowboard-friendly ski areas in the Midwest, with multiple halfpipes and terrain parks. Blackjack also caters to families with a wide variety of terrain and programs. The resort is part of Big Snow Country with Big Powderhorn, MI and Whitecap, WI, with special prices and programs.

Vertical Drop: 465'
Lifts: 4 chairs, 2 surface
Terrain: 20% novice, 40% intermediate, 40% expert.
Trails: 22
Snowboards: 2 Parks and 3Pipes
Information: 888-906-9835, 800-848-1125.
Website: http://www.skiblackjack.com

Indianhead Mountain - Wakefield

Indianhead Mountain Resort in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula offers 195 acres of skiable terrain and wide open runs reminicent of the Rockies. The base lodge and facilities are actually at the top of the mountain, which treats guests to stunning vistas. Snowmaking and grooming are a specialty of the resort, which typically opens earlier and stays open later than most other ski areas in the region.

Vertical Drop: 638'
Lifts: 5 chairs, 4 surface
Terrain: 21% novice, 37% intermediate, 42% expert.
Trails: 22
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 800-346-3426
Website: http://www.indianheadmtn.com

Marquette Mountain - Marquette

Known as a skier's mountain, Marquette Mountain features a great race program and plenty of challenging terrain. The area contains a 4,000' alpine terrain park and two legal tree runs. The city of Marquette, the home of Northern Michigan University, is only five minutes away, so there are many lodging and dining options near the resort.

Vertical Drop: 600'
Lifts: 3 chairs, 1 surface
Terrain: 15% novice, 50% intermediate, 35% expert.
Trails: 23
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 906-225-1155, 800-944-SNOW.
Website: http://www.marquettemountain.com

Mont Ripley - Houghton

Mont Ripley is operated by Michigan Tech University provides a comfortable chalet featuring a cafeteria and lockers as well as a ski shop and ski school. The terrain is varried, with something for beginners and experts alike. The area is also known for its professional National Ski Patrol unit. Mont Ripley sits adjacent to the Keweenaw National Historic Park.

Vertical Drop: 420'
Lifts: 1 chair, 1 surface
Terrain: 25% novice, 50% intermediate, 25% expert.
Trails: 16
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 906-487-2340
Web Site: http://www.aux.mtu.edu/ski/

Mt. Bohemia - Keweenaw

Located in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Mt. Bohemia is Michigan's newest ski resort and boasts the states highest vertical and steepest terrain. Mt. Bohemia offers the biggest vertical drop in the Midwest, featuring expert slopes and some cliff-like drops on some of the steeper runs, a true western experience. The area also has the largest skiable glade between the Rockies and Eastern resorts, extreme back country terrain, and upwards of 300 inches of powder per winter.

Vertical Drop: 900'
Lifts: 2 chairs, 1 surface
Terrain: 7% novice, 39% intermediate, 54% expert.
Trails: 28
Snowboards: Park and Pipe
Information: 888-937-2411, 906-289-4105
Website: http://www.mtbohemia.com

Norway Mountain - Norway

Skiers recognize Norway Mountain for its varied terrain and friendly staff. The lodge and trailside condos are located on the summit of the mountain, making for easy access to the ski runs. The resort has excellent programs for kids and families, and you can even purchase lift tickets and resort merchandise via their on-line store.

Vertical Drop: 500'
Lifts: 3 chair, 2 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 35% intermediate, 35% expert
Trails: 14
Cross Country: 5km
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 906 563-9700, 800-272-5445
Website: http://www.norwaymountain.com

Pine Mountain - Iron Mountain

Pine Mountain is one of the Upper Peninsula's most famous ski resorts. Its main lodge is a classic and the resort also offers a selection of condos. Resort spa facilities are open to all guests. While there, don't miss a visit to Famers, the location of the Upper Peninsula sports Hall of Fame. Pine Mountain Resort is located next to Timberstone Golf Course rated by "Golf Digest" Magazine as one of the top courses in the US.

Vertical Drop: 500'
Lifts: 3 chairs, 2 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 40% intermediate, 30% expert
Trails: 20
Cross Country: 8km
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 906-774-2747, 877-533-PINE
Website: http://www.pinemountainresort.com

Porcupine Mountains - Ontonagon

Porcupine Mountains ski area is located in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan's largest state park. The park is in Ontonagon County, at the western edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The park harbors the last extensive tract of old-growth hemlock forests, and is one of the Midwest's most extensive wilderness areas.

The Porkies are home to one of the first alpine ski areas in the Midwest as well as some of the most scenic Nordic ski trails in the entire Great Lakes region.

The chalet offers ski and snowboard rentals, pro shop, rest rooms, fireplaces, and cafeteria.

Vertical Drop: 641'
Lifts: 2 chair, 2 surface
Terrain: 21% novice, 50% intemediate, 29% expert.
Trails: 15
Cross Country: 42km
Information: 906-885-5275
Website: http://www.ontonagon.net/porkies/ski/index.html

Ski Brule - Iron River

Ski Brule is always the first ski resort in Michigan to open and the last to close. Snow lovers will never forget the record-breaking 95-'96 season of 181 days. The resort really caters to families and children with an array of ski programs and deals. Off the slopes families and kids can also enjoy ice skating, daycare, pony rides, sleigh rides, marshmallow roasts, torchlight parade, tube, snowshoe and snowmobile. And Brule's Virtual Snow Report is one of the coolest things on the Internet.

Vertical Drop: 420'
Lifts: 7 chairs, 4 surface
Terrain: 20% novice, 50% intermediate, 30% expert
Trails: 17
Cross Country: 23km
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 800-362-7853
Website: http://www.skibrule.com

More Ski Areas
Al Quaal - Ishpeming - 906-486-6181
Gladestone Sports Park - Gladestone - 906-428-9130
Mt. Zion - Ironwood - 906-932-3718


NORTHERN LOWER PENINSULA

Boyne Highlands - Harbor Springs

Boyne Highlands is one of Michigan's best family resorts. The area is well-known for its excellent ski school and children's programs. The terrain is expansive, and the lift structure is one of the most efficient in the region. With three base lodges, plenty of ski in/ski out condos, and three hotels, the resort has plenty of capacity, and the outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs are a big favorite.

Vertical Drop: 545'
Lifts: 8 chairs (including a high speed quad), 2 surface
Terrain: 37% novice, 29% intermediate, 31% expert
Trails: 44
Cross Country: 25km
Snowboards: Terrain park and pipe
Information: 800-GO-BOYNE
Website: http://www.boyne.com

Boyne Mountain - Boyne Falls

Boyne Mountain, the dean of Midwest ski resorts, is in the midst of a renaissance. By 2002 the new Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa will open, and the base village will be on its way to a complete transformation. Boyne Mountain was the first North American resort to install a six seater chair lift, and it's where the triple and quad lifts were invented. Always known as a place with challenging and varied terrain, the Mountain also boasts a wide variety of lodging options, the Austrian/American ski school, and the best apres ski in the Midwest.

Vertical Drop: 500'
Lifts:10 chairs (including a high-speed 6), 2 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 38% intermediate, 29% expert
Trails: 61
Cross Country: 35 km
Snowboards: Terrain park and pipe
Information: 800-GO-BOYNE
WebSite: http://www.boyne.com

Crystal Mountain - Thompsonville

Crystal Mountain offers lodging for over 1,200 people, indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, and a myriad of skier services in the Crystal Center. But where the resort excels is in family skiing, with solid terrain choices and excellent programs. Crystal's Totem Park is designed exclusively for first-timers and beginners to improve their skiing and snowboarding skills. In addition, Crystal is also home to the Michigan Legacy Art Park -- a collection of sculptures representative of Michigan's history and culture, set along a woodland trail. The resort also has one of the best cross country ski touring centers in Michigan.

Vertical Drop: 375'
Lifts: 6 chairs (including a high speed quad), 2 surface
Terrain:19% novice, 51% intermediate, 30% expert
Trails: 34
Cross Country: 40+ km
Snowboards: Quarterpipe and 4 Parks
Information: 800-968-4676, 800-YOUR-MTN
Website: http://www.crystalmountain.com

Caberfae Peaks - Cadillac

One of Michigan oldest resorts has undergone a transformation in recent years. The South Peak and North Peak developments have totally changed the skiing at Caberfae Peaks. The resort now boasts some of the biggest vertical drops and longest and best ski runs in the Midwest. Caberfae has also added a new rental building and a beautiful new day lodge, along with paved parking.

Vertical Drop: 485'
Lifts: 4 chairs, 2 surface
Terrain: 26% novice, 43% intermediate, 31% expert.
Trails: 31
Cross Country: 15km
Information: 231-862-3000, 800-968-7544
Website: http://www.caberfaepeaks.com

Nub's Nob - Harbor Springs

Nub's Nob is an excellent family ski area famous for its excellent snow, award winning day lodge, and superb cafeteria. This is a ski-only operation, with no lodging on site, but the varied terrain keeps skiers coming back. Trails face all directions of the compass and spill off two peaks, and spectacular vistas of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay are a treat. The area has one of the best snowboard parks in the state, too.

Vertical Drop: 427'
Lifts: 8 chairs
Terrain: 34% novice, 49% intermediate, 17% expert
Trails: 41
Cross Country: 20km
Snowboards: Terrain Park and 2 Pipes
Information: 231 526-2131, 800 SKI-NUBS
Website: http://www.nubsnob.com

Shanty Creek - Bellaire

Shanty Creek is a four-season resort located on 4,500 acres. The complex includes two ski mountains and three villages, all tied together with a transit system. Skiers can ski both the Summit Slopes and the Schuss Slopes on one Superticket. The area also offers tubing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and 30 km of the finest cross country skiing in Michigan.

Vertical Drop: 450'
Base Elevation: 675'
Lifts: 7 chair, 4 surface
Terrain: 37% novice, 30% intermediate, 33% expert
Trails: 46
Cross Country: 30km
Snowboards: 2 Parks and Pipe
Information: 800 678-4111
Website: http://www.shantycreek.com

The Homestead - Glen Arbor

The Homestead is unique because it rests on the western shores of Lake Michigan, overlooking the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The trails loom high over Lake Michigan and lead down to a charming Village and resort neighborhoods, all close to resort activities and amenities. Guest can also enjoy a snowshoe in the woods, savor fine dining, or travel to nearby villages and explore shops, galleries, museums and historical sites.

Information: 231-334-5100
Website: http://www.thehomesteadresort.com

Treetops - Gaylord

Treetops Sylvan Resort, in the heart of Northern Michigan's snowbelt, is a perfect family getaway. Located outside "The Alpine Village" of Gaylord, Treetops has a hotel at the top of its ski hill and a good selection of condos. The ski trails wind their way through the majestic hardwood forests that cover the slopes while state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming make skiing here a joy. The excellent ski school also is a favorite with kids and families.

Vertical Drop: 225'
Lifts: 4 chairs, 3 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 50% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails: 19
Cross Country: 20 km
Snowboards: Pipe
Information: 888-TREETOPS, 517-732-6711
Website: http://www.treetops.com

More Ski Areas
Hanson Hills - Grayling - 517-348-9266
Hickory Hills - Traverse City - 231-947-8566
Mt. Holiday - Traverse City - 231-938-2500
Mt. McSauba - Charlevoix - 231-547-3267
Skyline - Grayling - 517-275-5445



CENTRAL LOWER MICHIGAN

Apple Mountain - Freeland

Apple Mountain offers every skier and snowboarder - beginner to advanced - the opportunity to enjoy their favorite winter sport just a few miles from the heart of the tri-cities (Saginaw, Bay City, Midland). Race programs challenge skiers of all ages and levels. Apple Mountain has a quad chairlift, a snowboarding park with a half pipe, and 100% snowmaking capabilities, lighting for night skiing and a warm cozy lounge.

Vertical Drop: 220'
Lifts:1 chair, 4 Surface)
Terrain: 40% novice, 45% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails: 12
Snowboards: Terrain park and pipe
Information: 888-781-6789
Website: http://www.applemountain.com

More Ski Areas
Silver Ridge - Farwell - 517-589-7220
Snowsnake Mountain - Harrison - 517-539-6583


SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Bittersweet -- Otsego

Southwest Michigan's Bittersweet is in the scenic Kalamazoo River Valley. Come and features the "SWEET EXPRESS" High Speed Detachable Quad chair lift, a first for SW Michigan. The Snowberry Ski Shop has a complete line of skis, boots, and poles as well as the lastest in skiing apparel and accessories. The Winner's Circle Lounge is the place to go for food and drink.

Vertical Drop: 300'
Lifts: 7 chairs, 6 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 60% intermediate, 10% expert
Trails: 17
Snowboards: Terrain park
Information: 616-694-2820, 616-694-2032
Website: http://www.skibittersweet.com

Cannonsburg Ski Area - Cannonsburg

Cannonsburg Ski Area, just north of Grand Rapids, offers slopes of great variety close to home. Continuous grooming and snowmaking assures every skier from the unsteadiest beginner to the advanced racer that the best snow conditions are always at Cannonsburg. With a quad, triple, and double chair, T-bar and rope tows, Cannonsburg has plenty of capacity to move skiers up the hill. The area also have a top-notch ski school and popular adult and junior racing programs.

Vertical Drop: 250'
Lifts: 3 chairs, 9 surface
Terrain: 40% novice, 40% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails: 18
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 616-874-6711, 616-874-6728
Website: http://www.cannonsburg.com

Swiss Valley - Jones

Swiss Valley is close to the Indiana border, which explains why it's a popular destination for skier's from Indianapolis to Chicago. The area specializes in group outings, with an outstanding ski school and children's program. Swiss Valley is also home for one of the best freestyle training programs in the country, the Swiss Valley Extreme Team. With alpine themed buildings and a nifty mountain top restaurant, Swiss Valley has a lot to offer.

Vertical Drop: 225'
Lifts: 3 chairs, 4 surface
Terrain: 20% novice, 60% intermediate, 20% expert
Trails:11
Snowboards: Park
Information: 616 244-5635, 616 244-8016
Website: http://www.skiswissvalley.com

Timber Ridge - Kalamazoo

Timber Ridge has proudly offered skiing and snowboarding in southwest Michigan for the past 39 years. Special events, including Winterfest, Snowboard Competition, Mogul Challenge and Snowcross enhance every weekend in January and February. The trails cascade over beautifully wooded hills. The area also features the Snowshoe Bar with huge windows overlooking the slopes, and the Snowshoe Deli featuring specialty sandwiches, soups and beverages.

Vertical Drop: 240'
Lifts: 5 chairs, 5 surface
Terrain: 20% novice, 70% intermediate, 10% expert
Trails: 15
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 616-694-9449, 800 285-6525
Website: http://www.timberridgeski.com


SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN

Alpine Valley - White Lake

A short drive from Detroit or Ann Arbor brings you to the largest ski area in southern Michigan. This family-oriented ski area features 25 scenic slopes serviced by 10 chairlifts and 10 rope tows. And when you're ready to unwind after a fun-filled day or night of challenging snowy runs, you can relax in front of one of the many massive stone fireplaces in the spacious lodge, complete with two cafeterias and snack bars.

Vertical Drop: 300'
Lifts: 10 chairs, 10 surface
Terrain: 39% novice, 26% intermediate, 35% expert
Trails: 25
Snowboards: Terrain park and pipe
Information: 248-887-2180, 248-887-4183
Website: http://www.skialpinevalley.com

Mt. Brighton - Brighton

Mt. Brighton is one of the busiest ski areas in Michigan, a favorite with young and old alike. The area is popular with groups and does a great job with children, but that does not mean the adults are left out. Night skiing (as late as 2 A.M. on Saturday nights) and race programs are two staples on the Mt. Brighton menu. The area also boasts a massive lodge with good food and a fun atmosphere.

Vertical Drop: 250'
Lifts: 7 chairs, 11 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 40% intermediate, 30% expert
Trails: 26
Snowboards: Terrain Park and Pipe
Information: 810-229-9581
Website: http://www.mtbrighton.com

Mt. Holly - Holly

Nestled in beautiful Groveland Valley, Mt. Holly is just one hour north of Detroit and 15 minutes south of Flint. The area offer slopes for the whole family, and uphill capacity that includes a high speed quad. Skier friendly Mt. Holly offers night skiing, complete snow making and grooming, and a friendly helpful staff. The sprawling lodge has some great dining spots, as well as the best apres ski decks in Michigan.

Vertical Drop: 350'
Lifts: 7 chairs, 6 surface
Terrain: 22% novice, 39% intermediate, 39% expert
Trails: 18
Snowboards: Terrain Park
Information: 248-634-8260, 800-582-7256
Website: http://www.skimtholly.com

Pine Knob -- Clarkston

Pine Knob is close to Detroit, but has an "up north" feel. The slopes offer a lot of variety, including the double black "Wall." The day lodge is one of the classiest in Michigan, with huge windows overlooking the slopes. Beginners flock to the ski school each winter, and the Adult Racing League is one of the most active in the state.

Vertical Drop: 300'
Lifts: 5 chair, 5 surface
Terrain: 30% novice, 35% intermediate, 35% expert
Trails: 15
Snowboards: Terrain Park
Information: 248-625-0800, 800-642-SNOW
Web Site: http://www.skipineknob.com

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